We had the good fortune of connecting with Edison Peñafiel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edison, what do you attribute your success to?
I believe that being constant and believing in yourself and what you are creating is one of the most important factors of making it out there. This goes in hand with projecting on what you put out there is truth, and this must come from your real interests, ideals, and emotions. The idea is to make it personal, at least for me, and trying to reach those goals one way or the other. Collaboration and constructive feedback is also an important part, involving coworkers, collaborators, assistants, friends, family, etc. Counting with their support is a must for those times when everything is failing and you cannot really focus on what made you create something in the first place, so these persons help you get back on track.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Not really looking to set myself apart from others as a goal, but instead I am very focused on my individuality as a person and visual artist without a sense of competition. I am very proud of the upward turn that my career has experienced in the past 2 years. All the recognitions, opportunities, and support my work has received has helped validate it in the local and regional sphere. It has been a difficult path during all these past 9 years of putting the work out there, participating in exhibitions along with finishing my studies. It is hard work, and dues must be paid before the real deal. Overcoming challenges is just a matter of focusing, believing in the work and voice as an artist. It must come from within, it needs to be from one’s own voice, interest and emotion about anything, it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it is a real interest. And it has been a process, it is difficult to find a voice, specially projecting and idea though a abstract medium such as art. It took me a while to be able to communicate and create my own visual language. One of the most important lessons I have learned are “Ask and you shall receive” and being open to receive any help. These two are important as they create bonds with your close ones as well as getting new friends with new abilities.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Miami has a lot to offer and more than one can handle. If the friend is a foodie, then I would take them to a lot of these small and hidden food places where they can sample traditional delicacies from south and central America, and the Caribbean. I would take them to the beach in the morning, airboat ride in the everglades in the afternoon and some drinks at night. Also, It never hurts a small doses of art at local galleries and museums, depending what’s on display.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to keep them anonymous, but most of them are close artist friends, family, curators, as well as cultural institutions who have believed in my work, and would like to thank them for their unconditional support.
Courtesy of the artist